Eddie The Eagle: Let your spirit soar
Not since Daniel Larusso crane-kicked his way to unlikely glory back in 1984 have I felt such a heart-warming thrill while sitting in the cinema. From its openning scene, Eddie The Eagle brings a smile to your face that, much like the man on which this movie is based, just won’t quit.
Eddie The Eagle is based on the true story of Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards (Taron Egarton), an Olympian who represented Great Britain in the ski-jump event at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Whilst not a gifted athlete, Eddie’s determination to become an Olympian led to him using a loophole in qualifying rules to embark on a crazy plan to fulfill his dream. The movie follows his story from boyhood through to his Olympic experience, and the cult status that followed.
Joining Eddie on his remarkable journey is coach and former ski-jump prodigy Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman). The Wolverine-esque portrayal of Peary – grumpy, no nonsense, but with a small dash of empathy, is perfect for this film. His drunken description of his love for the 90 meter jump (and the ensuing cigarette at the top of said jump) is beautifully poetic, and his own journey to self-awareness is a triumph in itself. This is Jackman’s star power in a supporting role, and he doesn’t disappoint.
Eddie’s long-suffering parents, played by Jo Hartley and Keith Allen, are fantastic, and there’s also a nice cameo from Christopher Walken as Peary’s former coach.
As a small aside, in this year of the big franchise films, we have a small little tie-in, let’s call it the ‘Calgary 88’ franchise, as the zany Jamaicans from Cool Runnings (1993) get a nice little nod. Turns out Eddie the Eagle wasn’t the only cult hero from those Calgary Olympics.
Eddie The Eagle is charmingly humorous, engaging, and truly inspiring. A small movie with a very big heart, it is most certainly worth your time. These are the stories that encourage us all to be ‘more’. Take a look.